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Is it ever okay to just say "I have plans" to turn down an invite or do I need to fabricate a reason

(55 Posts)

Just that really. I would normally do just that but it's a family party type thing and they can be volatile.

In a nutshell, been invited to a 1st birthday "party" at a soft play attached to a pub with a family meal after. I say "party" because I have a strong suspicion it's a case of turn up, pay to play, buy meal. I am quite certain that it isn't an official party because there is always food included in these arrangements.

I hate the venue and I won't pay to go there. I also loathe everything about the pub (especially the food). While dc2 would like the soft play, dc1 is too old for this particular one and she'll hate it. So I would be paying for her to whine. Then we would have to pay �� for terrible food. Plus a birthday present (which I am more than happy to purchase and hand deliver to the baby in question). Plus MIL will be there and is so risk averse my dc aren't even allowed on baby slides on their own in her presence. (dd1 nearly 7 isn't allowed to watch CITV/CBBC at her house...)

We have no plans. For the first weekend in about 30 we are absolutely free. I just don't want to go!!!!!! Am I allowed to say we can't make it and not elaborate further?

I know I sound like an insufferable snob btw which is why I have posted here and not AIBU.

grobagsforever Fri 01-Aug-14 09:37:53

why do your let MIL decide what your children can and can't do?

Glastokitty Fri 01-Aug-14 09:38:18

Of course it is!

AnimalsAreMyFriends Fri 01-Aug-14 09:38:40

I would just say "I'm really sorry but we already have plans" and leave it at that. I'd arrange to visit the birthday child at another time to deliver a present.

As I've got older I've got much better at not doing things that I don't want to. I refuse to feel guilty about not pleasing people all the time - I do things that we want to (especially if I'm expected to pay for the privilege!)

AnnoyingOrange Fri 01-Aug-14 09:40:28

Make some plans quick. Then tell mil that you have plans

erin99 Fri 01-Aug-14 09:41:33

Yes. Keeping it simple is much more convincing than a convoluted lie anyway. Enjoy your weekend.

Oh good - collected wisdom suggests I am allowed not to partake.

Thank God.

ecuse Fri 01-Aug-14 09:46:29

it's fine to just say 'we have plans' IMO

ToffeeMoon Fri 01-Aug-14 09:46:37

Depends how well I knew the person. I think if you genuinely do have plans, why not say what they are? Otherwise it does sounds like a lie. If I just didn't want to go, I'd at lease try to make something up. I guess if I didn't know them well a polite "We're out of town that day" would work.

A fairly good friend of mine turned firm an invitation to my baby's christening with "Sorry, we have plans that day." No further information. I have to say I was (still am!) a bit miffed.

FruVikingessOla Fri 01-Aug-14 09:51:03

I agree with Toffee, saying "I have plans" usually elicits the response of "oh, what are you doing then?" So I usually invent something - not too convoluted, but just something that indicates you are already going somewhere else.

rollonthesummer Fri 01-Aug-14 09:51:11

When did you get the invitation and when is the party?

If you've only just received it and there's a month until the party-fine (though make sure you know what your plans are for when mil asks!) If it's tomorrow and you haven't told anyone you have plans (as you haven't) then you're being VU!

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 01-Aug-14 09:52:29

Of course you can say you can't go. You are an adult and can make your own mind up without your MIL's say so.


Invite landed in my inbox last week; party next weekend!

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 01-Aug-14 09:53:42


stop your MIL from stopping your kids from going on slides.

Funky That would be sensible, yes. But she's barking mad. We minimise visits for a number of reasons, her inability to let my dc play like normal dc is just one of them...

BikeRunSki Fri 01-Aug-14 09:59:18

Of course you have plans. Plans not to pay for your daughter not to whine in a pub. Plans not to eat grim pub food. Plans not be busy for the first time in 31 weeks.

Sounds hellish. I wouldn't want to go either.

I would actually make some plans though as some one is bound to ask where you're going.

rollonthesummer Fri 01-Aug-14 10:02:42

If you'd had plans though, you'd have replied as soon as you got it saying you couldn't go?

FunkyBoldRibena Fri 01-Aug-14 10:12:56

That would be sensible, yes. But she's barking mad. We minimise visits for a number of reasons, her inability to let my dc play like normal dc is just one of them...

Can you not be even more barking? to her what she does to the kids.

She says 'don't climb on the slide' you say 'don't say don't climb on the slide'
she says 'don't swing too high' you say 'don't say don't swing too high'
she says 'don't repeat what I say' you say 'don't bloody say it then'.

OnlyLovers Fri 01-Aug-14 10:17:25

my dc aren't even allowed on baby slides on their own in her presence.

Fuck that for a game of soldiers, for starters. What can she do, physically block them from getting on the slide?

Yes, you can just say you have plans. If asked what they are, you can say 'We haven't had a weekend as a family for ages, so we're spending it together doing family stuff' and leave it at that.

ShadowFall Fri 01-Aug-14 10:21:32

Agree that you need to have some actual plans as someone's likely to ask what they are.

MIL mashed up dc1's dinner and served it in a bowl with a spoon when she was four (no physical difficulties at all here I stress). Climbing embargoes are the least of my worries there!

I can easily have forgotten about my plans, hence the delay in replying, no?

ExcuseTypos Fri 01-Aug-14 10:24:42

My mil is a bit like yours.

I found saying "he's fine, don't worry" then "oh is that fun DS- go on have another go!" Did eventually work.

I also told my DC that their grandma was a bit barking risk averse, and to ignore her when she said they weren't to do things which I allowed them to do.

OnlyLovers Fri 01-Aug-14 10:30:30

If climbing embargoes are the least of your worries why use them as the example of your MIL's behaviour? I was just trying to respond to what I thought was a genuine problem for you.

I don't think you need to have 'forgotten' about your plans and IMO you don't need to explain why you didn't reply immediately.

But then again, I never claimed to be a nice person. wink

ElephantsNeverForgive Fri 01-Aug-14 10:35:05

Having to entertain a almost 7y in a pub with only toddler soft play is reason enough to be 'busy' in my book.

Threw in irritating relatives and paying for the sort of pub food I suspect is involved and I'd be 'very busy'

Especially, if the other customers of the pubs children are as awful as they are here. (Yes I am a snob about certain pub chains).

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